Packing for a long trip can be problematic: you don’t want to bring along too much and have to lug around a heavy bag, but you also don’t want to pack too little and end up forgetting a crucial item.
Here are 10 tips to make packing easy.
1. Roll clothing up and then use air-compression plastic bags to squeeze air out of clothes.
Space compressible plastic bags are amazing. Just put your clothing in the plastic bag and roll it up tight, pushing excess air out of the clothes. To make sure you’re really getting the most out of your space, roll clothing first, then put the rolled-up items inside the bags. Rolling clothes, rather than folding them, minimizes wrinkling and allows for more clothes to be packed.
Ziploc makes large reusable bags that are perfect for packing: you can use them for anything from clothing to toiletries. Always pack a few extras.
2. Invest in wrinkle-free clothing.
Inevitably, your suitcase will get tossed while traveling and your clothes will get crumpled. Avoid looking like a schlub and buy yourself some wrinkle-free clothing. Jos. A. Bank makes a line of wrinkle-free dress shirts, called the Traveler’s Collection, so you can still look your best while traveling out of a suitcase.
3. Put a rolled-up belt inside your shirt collar to keep it stiff.
What’s the point of having a wrinkle-free dress shirt if it doesn’t hold its shape? Keep your shirt collar stiff by placing a rolled up belt inside the neck opening of your shirt.
4. Use rolled-up socks as shoe trees.
Don’t waste the valuable space inside your shoes. Put rolled-up socks inside your shoes to help them preserve their shape inside your suitcase.
5. Cover the soles of shoes with shower caps.
Placing shower caps over the soles of dirty shoes will prevent the dirt on your shoes from touching the other items in your suitcase, keeping the inside of your bag clean.
6. Place shoes foot-to-toe in the bottom of your suitcase.
Heavy items, like shoes, should be placed near the wheels of the suitcase. This saves space and makes sure that your suitcase is properly balanced.
7. Double-bag toiletries to prevent spills.
If a bottle of lotion or shampoo spills inside your suitcase, it can be a catastrophe. Make sure that doesn’t happen by always packing liquids and gels inside their own plastic bags — and then put that plastic bag inside another plastic bag. Take it one step further and cover the bottle openings with cellophane before putting the caps back on.
8. Put a binder clip over a razor.
A large binder clip will preserve your razor blade and prevent you from getting nicked.
9. Pack empty tote bags for dirty laundry and souvenirs.
Stash an empty, lightweight tote bag inside your suitcase for souvenirs and dirty laundry. And make sure to leave room in your suitcase so that if you do bring home extras, your bag won’t be cramped for space.
10. Tackle suitcase odors with dryer sheets
Place a dryer sheet inside a pocket in your suitcase to ensure that your clean clothes don’t take on the odors of the dirty ones. Added bonus: dryer sheets can also make smelly shoes fresh.